Indonesian rescue ships and planes searching for a submarine that went missing on Wednesday morning have spotted an oil patch floating near its last dive location, Malaysiakini is reporting.
The 44-year-old submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, was conducting a torpedo drill in waters north of the island of Bali but failed to relay the results as expected, a navy spokesman said.
Military officials in Jakarta admitted on Wednesday that the Indonesian navy submarine had gone missing with 53 service people on board.
The German-made submarine disappeared in waters about 100km off the coast of Bali.
Some reports say contact was lost after the submarine had been given clearance to dive into deeper waters.
Indonesia’s military chief has also called on Australia and Singapore to help in the search.
First Admiral Julius Widjojono told reporters that the navy is currently searching for the boat. “We know the area but it’s quite deep,” he said.
The vessel is one of five submarines operated by Indonesia.
It was launched in the late 1970s, and in 2011 underwent a complete refit in South Korea, according to Reuters.
This is the first time Indonesia has lost one of its submarines, a Navy spokesman told the BBC.
But similar deep-dive incidents have happened elsewhere. In 2017, an Argentine military submarine went missing in the southern Atlantic with 44 crew on board.
Its wreck was located a year later, and officials confirmed that the submarine had imploded.